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HomeCar Insurance ResourcesDoes Daily Commute Affect Auto Insurance Rates?

Yes, it does.

Vehicle insurance is expensive in many parts of Canada, including Ontario. Based on this more people are now beginning to question what will bring their insurance rates down. One of the answers they are, finding out more about is regarding the purpose of what they are using their car for and how does this affects their insurance.

What Is The Difference Between Pleasure And Commute On Auto Insurance?


This sounds like an easy question but it is one that can return a variety of answers. It is because each insurance company is different and therefore may have a different interpretation of what “pleasure” and “commute” driving is.

Different Interpretations

  • Some insurance companies may determine if your vehicle is being used for commuting back and forth every day to work that its primary use is for commuting.
  • Other insurance companies may deem the car for pleasure if it is not being used for going back and forth to work.
  • Some insurance companies do not discern between pleasure or commute when arriving at the premiums.
  • Other insurance companies may look at commute insurance as it pertains to the mileage being put on the car. For example, the miles put on the car for traveling back and forth to work.

When you are filling out your insurance application you will probably be asked what is the vehicle going to be used for. Commuting or Pleasure. You will have to answer this according to your intent.

Work and School Commuting

Commute considerations do not just apply to those going to work. The same metrics may be applied to those who are using the car for going back and forth to school every day.

Car Insurance Commute Vs Pleasure Rate Difference

comparing prices

It will depend on the Insurance company that an individual is using to know if there is going to be a difference between the rates for these two uses of a vehicle. Most who know about insurance rates in Ontario estimate that the cost for average insurance in Ontario for a vehicle is around $1,000 to $1,500 per year. Then there are a lot of additional factors that will be considered to find the exact premium cost for an individual. This is where the use of the vehicle can be factored in.

A lot of people get car quotes when they are shopping for insurance. The information returned to them will come from different insurance companies. There may be variations in the prices quoted. It is because each of the insurance providers is using different metrics for setting their rates. The higher quotes may be factoring in that you are using your vehicle for commuting. Then again it may be based on where you live. This makes it very difficult to determine what a specific insurance company deems as important when applying premiums.

Does Commuting Increase Car Insurance?

Based on the difficulty in knowing the answer to this question it is best to assume that the insurance company is taking this into account. Then there may be some options for you to try and offset this cost. For example what discounts does the insurance company offer? Look at these carefully and determine if there are any you could take advantage of.

Some insurance providers give more discounts than others. If you are being charged for commuting then you will want to go with a company that is giving you other ways to decrease your costs. For example, some of them will offer better rates for:

  • A clean driving record
  • The type of vehicle being insured
  • Your location
  • Being accident-free
  • Using snow tires

As well as some others.

Some of these you can consider before your purchase your car. For example the type of vehicle being insured. Many insurance companies will offer better rates for less expensive cars and those that have high ratings for safety.

Is It Better Not To Use The Car For Commuting?


If you happen to be in the high-risk bracket for insurance then you are already paying a high premium. Using your vehicle for commuting may be escalating the prices even higher. What you could do is ask for some quotes for using the vehicle for commuting and then for only using it for pleasure. This way you may be able to see the differences in the premium costs. If the difference is substantial then you may want to consider finding another means for getting to work without using your vehicle for commuting. At least this way you will be able to use it for pleasure and enjoy a lower cost in premiums.

There are other cost factors that you may want to consider when using your vehicle for commuting. You have to consider the costs of parking. In most cases, this can be expensive. Then there is the cost of fuel. Added to this is the wear and tear on the vehicle. If you have all of these extra costs plus extra ones for commuting insurance you may be far better off financially to consider public transit.

Something else the insurance company may take into account is where the car is parked during your hours of work. These companies often look at neighborhoods. Although most often this will apply to the address of the driver who is parking the car when not in use. It is still something that the insurance company could take into account.

Is It Better To Put Commute Or Pleasure For Car Insurance?

You really don’t have a choice when this question is asked on your insurance application. If you don’t tell the truth and you get caught then your insurance may not be of any value. If you are in a collision and it wasn’t declared you used the car for commuting then the claim could be void. Even if the accident didn’t take place during the commute. Telling the truth for every question is imperative when it comes to vehicle insurance.

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